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Brews You Can Use

I like the quasi-religious moments.

I had one last Friday.

I'd had another brutal week at the office, which I concluded with a trip to a Kalamazoo doctor. I then drove back south to meet Jack (my college son) at a pub in the town where my high school was playing basketball later that evening. I got there at 5:20. Jack was delayed until 6:00.

My first drink arrived, and with it, something of a sacramental moment.

Nice pub, TVs (with no volume) to stare at, no acquaintances to break up (or threaten to break up) my isolation. My gin and tonic. Just me and unwinding.

I just kinda took some deep breaths, looked about me, smiled at strangers, nodded at anything. It was serenity on steroids. Or, relaxing with gin and tonics. I ended up drinking three before Jack got there.

I've had moments like that before. Often at bars like this one, but sometimes on my front porch (with a drink in hand).

Once in awhile, similar intense floods of peace hit me at the beginning of Mass, especially if I've worked all day on Saturday, leaving the office in time to catch the Saturday evening Mass.

But for the most part, these experiences are confined to the first minutes of drinking by myself.

Sure, the feeling wears of quickly. Last Friday, I felt that serene peace for about thirty minutes, before I started to wonder what was taking Jack so long. It didn't go away entirely and, in fact, I still felt it as I left the pub, but definitely in a diluted form.

So what causes these moments? I really have no idea. The juxtaposition of a frenzied life against sudden serenity, yes. The drink: normally. The isolation: often. It all just seems to come together once in awhile, giving one a deep sense of everything good: peace, gratitude, receptivity.

If I could bottle something to give that feeling every time, I'd make a killing.